A revival of "Scooter Wells, Boy Detective, and the Secret of Skull Cove" at Desert Star Playhouse, the return of long-dormant Walk-Ons, Inc., the third annual Benson Gristmill Pageant and a musical revue at Murray City Park are among the region's theater offerings for the next few days.
- SCOOTER WELLS, BOY DETECTIVE AND THE SECRET OF SKULL COVE, written by Peter VanSlyke, is making a return visit to Desert Star Playhouse, 4861 S. State, Murray.Director Beth Bruner's cast includes Norman E. Plate as the villainous Baron VonMunchkinhausen, Layna Carter as his partner in crime, Inga Grabenstetter and R. Russell Durrant as the heroic Scooter Wells, who is not only president of his high school Science Club but a star quarterback and pretty good sleuth.
Others in the cast are Glen Carpenter as absent-minded science teacher Prof. Throckmorton, Ginger Christensen as perky cheerleader Penny, Christopher Rogers as class nerd Bunky Baker, Paul T. Murphy as Preston and Kaycee Raquel as Sylvia (the latter two as a pair of yuppies who will stoop to anything - even sabotage - to win a blue ribbon at the big Century of Progress Expo science fair in Chicago).
The DSP comedy will include a "Tumbling Tumbleweeds Western Olio" finale.
Performances are Mondays and Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7 and 9:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 3, 7 and 9:30 p.m., from Aug. 6 through Sept. 19. Desert Star Playhouse has cabaret style seating, with pizza and other refreshments available. All seating is reserved. Tickets range from $6 to $10 with discounts available for some performances for students, families and groups. For reservations, call 266-7600.
- BROADWAY BOUND, the third in Neil Simon's acclaimed autobiographical trilogy, is being presented as a staged reading under the auspices Jayne Luke's Walk-Ons, Inc.
The cast of well-known local performers includes the Gollaher brothers (Kevin and Mark), Charles Metten, Richard Scott, Michelle Peter son and Luke herself.
The readings are scheduled for the next two Sundays - Aug. 9, at 7 p.m., in the Enchanted Cottage, 2415 E. Karren St. (4205 South), Holladay, and on Aug. 16, at 4 p.m., in the Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main, Park City.
For information regarding the Aug. 9 performance, call 273-1530, and for the Park City performance, call the Egyptian Theatre at 1-435-649-9371. Admission to both performances is free, but donations will be accepted.
- THE BENSON GRISTMILL PAGEANT, based on an original story by Maxine Grimm, is having its third annual production on the site where the action was actually set - the historic Benson Gristmill. It's near Stansbury Park, about a mile from Exit 99 off I-80, near the fork of U-138 and U-36.
The story, set in 1850, revolves around Ezra Taft Benson, great-grandfather of the late LDS Church president, who arrived in Tooele Valley with orders from Brigham Young to construct a gristmill and a sawmill.
Soundtrack for the production was created by Gary Swan, Douglas Spotted Eagle and Ray Zentz.
Performances will be Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 6-8, and Monday-Thursday, Aug. 10-13, at 8:30 p.m. Bleacher seating is available and patrons may also bring lawn chairs and picnic dinners. Food is also available at the site. Tickets are $3 in advance. For reservations, call 1-435-882-7678. Preshow entertainment begins at 7 p.m.
- RADIO HIT PARADE, an original musical revue showcasing tunes from the 1920s to the present day, will be presented on Aug. 8 and 10 as part of this summer's Arts in the Park Series at Murray City Park amphitheater.
The evening will range from the crooning of Big Band tunes from the '40s to rock 'n' roll hits from the '50s and more. The cast includes 12 local singers and dancers under direction of Jim Smith, choreographer Margene Conde and Shannon Elmer.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for children and senior citizens. There is also a special $20 family ticket on Monday night only. For further information or reservations, call the Murray Parks and Recreation office at 264-2614.
- A GRIEF OF MIND, a new play by Carl O'Neal Rich and being directed by Davey Marlin-Jones, will be presented in readers' theater style on Aug. 6 and 7 and Sept. 1 at 10:15 a.m. in the Cedar Theatre, 33 N. Main, as part of the 1998 Utah Shakespearean Festival's "New Plays-in-Progress Readings" series.
In past years, the readings have been staged in Thorley Hall on campus at Southern Utah University, but because of earlier opening of classwork at the university, the performances have been moved to Cedar City's downtown moviehouse.
Admission is complimentary, but a contribution of $3 to $5 is suggested to help cover the costs of the project and encourage the exploration of other new plays. Some funding is also earmarked toward the future construction of a third USF venue devoted to new plays and playwrights.
- THIS CASTLE NEEDS A GOOD CLEANING, a "Cinderella" spoof by local playwright Omar Hansen, is scheduled to play Aug. 5-8 and 12-15 at the Lighthouse Theatre, 4991 Highland Drive (a freestanding building southeast of the J.C. Penney store at Cottonwood Mall).
Some matinee performances may also be scheduled. Call 277-2062 for ticket and showtime information.
- SATURDAY'S WARRIOR continues its 25th anniversary regional tour with four performances Aug. 7-10 in Dixie College's Cox Auditorium, 425 S. 700 East, St. George.
Curtain is 8 p.m. Aug. 7, 8 and 10, with one matinee on Aug. 8 at 2 p.m. All seats for the matinee are priced at $9. Admission for the three evening performances are $12, $15 and $18. There are also $2 discounts for students, youths (17 and under), missionaries and senior citizens - for the evening shows only.
Seating is not reserved. To purchase tickets in advance call the Omega Productions' box office at 1-801-656-0577.
The tour will conclude with performances Aug. 22-24 at Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City and Aug. 27-31 and Sept. 3-5 at Timpview High School in Provo.
- SATURDAY'S VOYEUR: THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY CRUISE, Salt Lake Acting Company's annual fund-raising parody (loosely inspired by - but not to be confused with - the aforementioned "Saturday's Warrior"), has been extended for four more weeks beyond its original closing date of Aug. 30.
It will continue Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. through Sept. 27. Tickets are available through all ArtTix outlets or by calling 355-ARTS.